Just got back from Click, Print and Treat, an event hosted by Canon Marketing Philippines at Hidalgo Street of Quiapo, the Mecca of local photographers. I initially decided to join for the purpose of simply practicing photography with models, but it turns out that the experience was much more educational than what I had expected.
For starters, renown local cosplay photographer Jay Tablante gave 2-hour workshop on cosplay photography. Since the event was open also to Powershot and IXUS shooters, I initially thought that it would have simply covered the basics of photography (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure, etc.) for the sake of newbies. What we got instead was surprisingly detailed lecture with a good chunk of the information being specific to cosplay. He cited the topics which he had also delved into and became familiar with in the process of learning. Among those in the list are film photography, make-up, fashion trends in the past 50 years, and the influence of surfaces/materials on reflected light. He also stressed the need for familiarity with the characters being cosplayed so that iconic poses should be recognized and the characters may be portrayed properly.
Personally, I found that last bit enlightening and disheartening at the same time since my favorite series tend to be a bit obscure, and I haven't the time or patience to bother becoming familiar with the most popular shows.
There were also contests both for cosplayers and for photographers. The theme for the photography contest was "cosplayers in Quiapo". Yes, it sounds bland, but what that also meant was that the contest was also intended to promote Quiapo for tourism and whatnot. Thus, the environment was just as big a factor as the models were. Personally, I found the mix rather bizarre since these types of gathering are usually held within malls; and Quiapo's more suited to street photography featuring Filipino culture rather than Japanese. Perhaps the idea was to emulate Harajuku in Japan. Sure, Hidalgo's the street where Japanese cameras are sold, but the this event made me wonder what bagoong would taste like if mixed with wasabi.
Below was the entry which I submitted.
Yes, it's another freakin' Lensbaby shot.
I was aiming for use of the rule of thirds, and I chose this particular angle because a legion of photographers was already shooting her with the church as the background. I wanted to try something different, but it should be noted that "different" does not necessarily mean "better". In hindsight, I realized that there were several factors which made this image unsuitable for being selected.
1.) I used a prime.
Being a prime, this made it difficult for me to quickly change the framing of the shot. Hence, there isn't enough space above and below to separate the subjects from the borders of the image. By the time that I had moved a bit further away, the model had already changed positions and I couldn't take a similar shot with the correct framing. For instances wherein time is limited, the flexibility of a zoom lens is invaluable.
2.) I used a Lensbaby
As an event hosted by Canon, the image is unsuitable for promotional purposes because the characteristic blur of the Lensbaby may be misunderstood by some people in their target market as a flaw/imperfection in Canon's products. Aside from that, sharpness would have been preferred over stylistic blur since the background itself is a major factor in the criteria of the contest. Thus, the details should have been retained rather than blurred out.
3.) It's probably not an acccurate representation of Quiapo.
Given that the streets which we passed through were pretty dense in terms of people per square meter, a shot featuring a lone person seemed uncharacteristic of Quiapo. The statue in the background isn't that recognizable either when compared to other landmarks such as the nearby church.
Anyway, Alodia was one of the judges for the cosplay competition.
I don't consider myself a fan, but I was hoping to have this autographed.
Unfortunately, her appearance was brief and accompanied by a small crowd that suddenly appeared via instant transmission. Looks like this'll have to wait until the next convention...
<º))))>< ´¯`•.¸_¸.•´¯`•.¸_¸.•´¯`•.¸_¸.•´¯`•.¸. ><((((º>
Note to self:
Move closer, experiment with more angles, and try to remember names.